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Eatin' good in a new neighborhood

January 09, 2007|by KATE S. ALEXANDER

ROUZERVILLE, Pa. - Dozens of residents flocked to Applebee's Neighborhood Grill & Bar at Rouzerville Commons for the restaurant's busy grand opening Monday.

"It's been pretty crazy," said Jason Grimaldi, general manager. "I have worked three grand openings, but this is the one I have been waiting for."

Residents of Waynesboro have also been waiting for the restaurant to open.

"It's about time we got one here," Clarence Beaver of Rouzerville said. "I got tired of having to go to Chambersburg ... to eat at Applebee's."

Jennifer Dodd, director of operations for Applebee's International Inc., said the corporate-owned restaurant is proud to be the first major chain restaurant of its kind in the Waynesboro area.

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"We strive to be America's favorite neighbor, so it is fitting that we are the first for Waynesboro," she said.

The restaurant seats 158 people and features Applebee's latest design with a separate saloon-style bar area and a Carside to Go entrance. The design also separates smoking and nonsmoking sections with a fully enclosed wall.

"It is the best of both worlds, in my opinion," Dodd said of the design.

Applebee's officially opened Monday with 115 associates working to make and serve food to customers. Dodd said the staff got some practice last week when the restaurant hosted a "neighbor day" to raise money for the Waynesboro Area Senior High School all-school production. On neighbor day, Dodd said Applebee's provided food, beverages and service at no charge, but guests were encouraged to make a $5 donation to the high school.

William Connor, general manager, said the neighbor day raised about $3,000 for the high school.

The restaurant is open Monday through Thursday from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m., Friday and Saturday from 11 a.m. to midnight, and Sunday from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m.

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